The other day I perceived a connection between the ashes accrued in our fireplaces and the dust that clings to us as we live into our days. I am not speaking of the dust we easily shake from our feet as we live into our values and pursue what we know to be true. I am referring to the difficult dust of our days -the dust that seems to cling to us. The dust we struggle to shake off. The dust that holds us back and prevents us from evolving into our authentic potential.
In my home we have a fireplace both downstairs and upstairs. Each has a grate that opens so that after wood has burned we can discard the ashes through the grate. The ashes gather in a protected space in our basement until such time as we remove the ashes. We empty the basement bin a couple of times a year and use the contents in our yard, garden, etc. fall, winter and spring. In this way, the ashes become part of our ecological system. They become an integral and generative part of the fabric of our life environment as we recycle them and weave them into the seasons of the year.
I wonder if it is the same with life’s difficult dust; the dust that we accrue in our mind and body experience of living. Perhaps we too store the dust in the bins of our memory and psyche until such time as our spirit returns us to the difficult dust and helps us to mine it for wisdom. Maybe in this way, difficult dust is a generative part of our heart’s learning when we become aware and open to it. As we sift through the dust of our days, we recognize all the grace that has been present all the time as we move slowly, and incrementally toward a deeper way of knowing.
How hopeful to perceive the gift and grace of our difficult dust through the heart’s way of knowing – to see that we can reconcile our past, open to our present and unfold into our future. All that we need is within us.